gauravirbhava bhumes twam nirdesta sajjana priyah
vaisnava sarvabhauma sri jagannathaya te namah
“I offer my respectful obeisances unto Sri Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who is respected by the entire Vaisnava community and who discovered the place where Lord Caitanya appeared.”
Sri Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja was born was born around the year 1800 AD.
in the Mayamansingh district of West Bengal. Not much is known about his ealry life. Gaudiya Vedanta-acharya Sri Baladeva Vidyabhushana had a disciple named Uddhava das. His disciple was Sri Madhusudana Dasa Babaji who lived in Suryakunda and it was from Madhusudana Dasa Babaji that Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja took initiation.
Jagannatha Dasa Babaji lived in Vrindavan and performed his bhajan there for quite some time. He became famous among the devotees there as one who was perfect in Krishna-bhakti.
He first met Bhakti Vinoda Thakura around 1880 AD and was inspired him in his service. Seeing Bhaktivinoda Thakur’s enthusiasm for preaching the holy name of Krishna, Srila Babaji Maharaja was very happy and would stay at the house of Bhaktivinoda Thakura on Manikatala Street whenever he went to Calcutta. Bhaktivinoda Thakura was always very eager to invite him to his house for prasada, but Babaji Maharaja was very renounced and would come only occasionally.
Jagannatha dasa Babaji’s servant’s name was Bihari dasa. He was extremely strong and powerful. In his old age, Babaji Maharaja could not walk. Bihari dasa used to carry him in a basket on his shoulders so that Babaji Maharaja could move from place to place. He was particularly enthusiastic in serving the Lord’s devotees and performing ‘kirtan’. When he would hear a ‘kirtan’ or himself be engaged in ‘kirtan’, his body would extend itself out of the basket like a beautiful banyan tree and he would loudly shout, “Nitai ki nam eneche re! Nitai, ki nam diteche re!” “O Lord Nityananda, what a wonderful name you have brought! O Nitai, what a wonderful name you have given!”
In 1893, Srila Babaji Maharaja went from Koladwip (the part of Nabadwipa where Srila Sridhara Maharaja’s temple is presently located) to Surabhi-kunja in Godrumadwipa. There he t ook his seat. His arrival in Surabhi-kunja was a wonderful event. Sri Jagannatha Dasa Babaji revealed many lost holy places in Mayapura, including the Yogapith, Srivasa Angana and others. It is said that when he came upon the holy place of Mahaprabhu’s birth he danced, although he was very old and walked with difficulty. For some time he remained in Nadia and performed his bhajan on the banks of the Ganges. His bhajan kutir and samadhi mandir are still there at present. He ordered Bhaktivinoda Thakura to build a hut so devotees could stay near his bhajan kutir, and Bhaktivinoda did so.
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